Arkansas’ Unemployment Rises to 4.9%

October 22, 2008

Arkansas’ unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point in September to 4.9 percent, but remained well below the national average of 6.1 percent.

The leisure and hospitality job sector took the largest hit, losing 1,500 jobs that were primarily seasonal, tourism-related positions.

The government sector posted the largest increase, at 12,900 jobs, thanks to the fall return of employees at public schools and universities.

Education and health services added 2,500 jobs, mostly in educational services because of the return to the classroom for private school employees.

“Although Arkansas’ unemployment rate rose, the slight increase was not unexpected,” said Kimberly Friedman, a spokeswoman for the Department of Workforce Services.

“The change mirrors past trends for this time of year, and Arkansas’ rate is still considerably lower than the national rate.”

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